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Old 01-28-2013, 11:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Electric cars require almost no regular maintenance at all. Software upgrades and maybe fresh transmission oil at 100K miles?

Tires and wiper blades of course, but even the brakes can last a very long time - especially if you are a good ecodriver, you can get by with just the regenerative braking most of the time.

You can tote an extension cord with you, and charge it a bit if you are near enough to a plug; or you can call AAA for a tow. But, how often have you run out of gas? I think you can manage to keep an eye on the gauge in an EV just the same?

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:17 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Electric cars require almost no regular maintenance at all. Software upgrades and maybe fresh transmission oil at 100K miles?

Tires and wiper blades of course, but even the brakes can last a very long time - especially if you are a good ecodriver, you can get by with just the regenerative braking most of the time.

You can tote an extension cord with you, and charge it a bit if you are near enough to a plug; or you can call AAA for a tow. But, how often have you run out of gas? I think you can manage to keep an eye on the gauge in an EV just the same?
Modern ICE cars do not require much maintenance either. Manufacturers are using better fluids and better metals to extend the maintenance intervals and generally lower the cost of ownership to incise people to buy new.


Comparing apples to apples like a nissan leaf to a honda fit.... The leaf will still cost over $13,000 more over a 5 year ownership. If you keep the leaf to try to recap the funds you will likely have to replace the battery at some point. It is a fact of life right now with the battery technology available today. Batteries wear out....no matter what chemistry or how well you maintain them.

If you compared the 2 vehicles the Honda fit would still be able to obtain similar or same miles out of a tank of fuel where as the leaf's range will start to decline once the batteries start to age.

If there wasn't a tax incentive to buy an all electric vehicle I think there would be no electric vehicle at all.... I just don't see a smaller $35k to $40k vehicle that only goes 100 miles in 6-8 hours selling very well without an incentive.

If you want to know sources I used to compare cost of ownership here.
New 2012 Nissan Leaf Cost Of Ownership - Motor Trend Magazine
2012 Honda Fit Base Hatchback Cost Of Ownership - 2012 Honda Fit Hatchback Insurance, Maintenance & Repair Costs - Motor Trend Magazine
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Regular maintenance on today's ICE cars still costs you about $3000-3500 per 90K miles. The regular maintenance on an EV is virtually $0 for 90K miles.

The electricity to drive those 90K miles is about $3600 (at 340Wh/mile and 12 cents/kWh) - you can actually drive it for $2700 with only a little bit of ecodriving (at 250Wh/mile and 12 cents/kWh). So, you can drive the EV for the same *or less* money than just the cost of regular maintenance of an ICE car.

An average (23MPG) car would cost you $13,300 to drive that same 90K miles; and if the price of gas goes up, you save all the more money.

Or you could do what my brother is doing and pay $1400 down payment on a solar PV installation, and then pay $22-122 *less* per month for his electricity *and* then he and his wife can drive their electric cars for "free".

Have you ever tried making your own gasoline?
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:36 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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An average (23MPG) car would cost you $13,300 to drive that same 90K miles; and if the price of gas goes up, you save all the more money.
razor has a good point: it's a little disingenuous to compare a Leaf to the *average* car's 23 MPG. Should compare it instead to a car of its size, e.g. the Versa on which it's based.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:35 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Have you ever tried making your own gasoline?
No, but I do make a ton of ethanol for drinking.

The reflux still that I built produces 96% pure ethanol.
For about one gallon of almost pure ethanol:
$5 worth of sugar, yeast and nutrients.
Distilling heat: 5A*240V*10hrs=12000Wh
$0.112/kWh = $1.34.
That's $6.34/gallon.

These are all ball park figures, of course.
Plugging the Electric Booger into the wall is cheaper.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:49 PM   #26 (permalink)
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My electric car still has lead acid batteries and lead acid batteries now have a long term, per mile cost of ownership higher then lithium batteries, because they do not last as long.
I figure that my cost on battery replacement on my electric car is about the same as my cost of exhaust/muffler replacement, oil changes and new spark plugs on my gasoline car.

Looking at the Nissan web site and their check list for gasoline vehicle maintenance compared to their list for the Nissan Leaf and I see that areas where they over lap is in rotating tires, checking steering and suspension, replacing windshield wipers, replacing the cabin air filter and changing brake fluid.

Nissan says that their gear oil is good for the life of the vehicle, the transmission fluid in their gasoline vehicles is not.
The gasoline vehicles also require spark plugs, exhaust systems, starting battery, fuel filters, coolant, radiator cap, drive belts, starters, alternators.
Regen braking also reduces brake wear so there is a chance that the brakes will last the life of the vehicle, altho on EV's they recommend changing the brake fluid slightly more often to keep moisture from building up in it, but that is also recommended in gasoline cars and most people never do it in the life of the vehicle.

Yes, batteries wear down over time, but so do engines, less so then in the past, but as they wear your gas mileage/range per gallon of fuel decreases and there are still a lot of vehicles that have engines fail requiring a top end rebuild or other major work rendering the vehicle useless until the repair is done, a battery that only holds half it's charge still gives you a 30-40 mile range, well within what over 70% of the country drives daily.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:40 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I've only recently been looking at electric cars, so forgive me if I don't have my facts straight. I could easily get one for myself and use my wifes car for longer trips. The cost of buying one is what would keep me away. The offerings by the major manufacturers have too many bells and whistles and I wouldn't buy an ICE car for myself loaded up like that anyways. The EVs that I have seen that I would consider fall into the neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) classification and are limited to lower speed roads. That is a deal breaker because even here in town I would not be able to get to places I would normally go. Example, the Miles Electric ZX40ST Plug into Miles Electric Vehicles, Miles Electric Vehicles is a decent utility vehicle at a reasonable price, but I couldn't legally or safely drive it to the local home center for a few 2x4s. To the point, I personally would be interested in a bare bones, highway legal, capable of light hauling, under $25k EV. There just doesn't seem to be anything offered in this range of criteria.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Regular maintenance on today's ICE cars still costs you about $3000-3500 per 90K miles. The regular maintenance on an EV is virtually $0 for 90K miles.

The electricity to drive those 90K miles is about $3600 (at 340Wh/mile and 12 cents/kWh) - you can actually drive it for $2700 with only a little bit of ecodriving (at 250Wh/mile and 12 cents/kWh). So, you can drive the EV for the same *or less* money than just the cost of regular maintenance of an ICE car.

An average (23MPG) car would cost you $13,300 to drive that same 90K miles; and if the price of gas goes up, you save all the more money.

Or you could do what my brother is doing and pay $1400 down payment on a solar PV installation, and then pay $22-122 *less* per month for his electricity *and* then he and his wife can drive their electric cars for "free".

Have you ever tried making your own gasoline?
Why are you comparing a sub compact EV to a mid or full size regular sedans? Standard compact cars get 30-35 MPG. I was just looking at it from a realistic view and gave the EV the best shot by not comparing it to a hybrid variant.

I don't know much about solar PV systems but typically people would charge their electric vehicle at night no? Even if there is a battery array to hold the charge there would still be a draw on the grid. All that aside the typical person isn't going to drop $35 to $40 grand on an electric vehicle then another $25 grand on a solar array to drive "Free" Instead you could buy a nice hybrid vehicle and fuel for a few years.

I haven't made my own gasoline, attempting it would be illegal and dangerous. That said batteries aren't exactly safe either. There is a way to make biodiesel at home which is relatively safe and very cost effective provided you can get your oil free.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:11 PM   #29 (permalink)
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To the point, I personally would be interested in a bare bones, highway legal, capable of light hauling, under $25k EV. There just doesn't seem to be anything offered in this range of criteria.
DIY, my friend. Get what you want for a fraction of $25k.

Alternatively, wait. The good thing about finally having new factory EV's on the open market (ie. sold, not leased) is we will soon have used factory EV's on the market.

Well they're there already, of course. But in a few years, the second hand prices will have fallen low enough to entice more people into them. Patience, grasshopper.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:55 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Cheapest used factory built EV on Ebay right now is a Chevy S-10 that doesn't have any bids yet, starting bid is $6,400 buy it now price is $11,000 and it has an "almost new" battery pack.
2nd up for factory built is a 2011 Nissan Leaf with a buy it now price of $18,995, there are of course other Leaf's that have lower bids but there is no saying what they will end up selling for.

There are also a handful of home built EV's including a nice Toyota pickup truck for a buy it now price of $5,595 that is ready to drive.

I keep seeing posts on this forum where people are asking what vehicle to buy for someone who is on a budget $5,000, $10,000 or even $15,000! people have budgets for vehicles that they like.

I don't plan to ever buy a new car but including all the repairs and new battery pack on my 31 year old factory built electric car I figure I have $6,000 invested in it and I bought it when the prices for used EV's were at their peek.

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